Pregnant mother begs for help fixing heating unit: ‘I don’t want to lose my kids’

RICHMOND, Va. – A pregnant mother is asking the CBS 6 Problem Solvers for help keeping her home warm after she said a thief stole the copper from her property and broke her home’s HVAC unit.

Teresa Steele remembers tears of joy 13 years ago when she got the keys to her brand-new home.

Pictures and mementos like a cherished family bible that belonged to her great grandmother remind her of how special this place is and how hard she worked to provide a home for her family.

Teresa Steele

Teresa Steele

“It took me a lot to get this house and I don't want to lose it,” Steele said. “I don't want to lose my kids...Don't want to feel like what I've built for my kids is gone.”

She tears up talking about the struggle to keep their home comfortable for her daughters and her baby that's on the way.

For months, the Church Hill mom has been living with no air conditioning or heat. She is now using space heaters to keep warm.

“Someone stole copper from my HVAC unit outside. I called insurance and they wouldn't cover it,” Steele said. “It feels bad because this is how we live… They did it to take the copper and sell it for a few dollars. I don’t have $6,000 to get a new system.”

HVAC

Steele's HVAC unit.

Steele, who just got out of the hospital this week because of her high risk pregnancy, is now worried that doctors plan to deliver her baby early.

“I don't want to bring a baby home and it's cold and have social services take them from me,” Steel said.

Unable to work right now because she is on bedrest, Steele asked the CBS 6 Problem Solvers to share her story in hope that someone can help.

Steele said that if she doesn't get her unit repaired in the next few weeks, she's also going to lose her home owner's insurance. And while she has reached out to various organizations for help, she hasn't had any luck.

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Need help? Contact the CBS 6 Problem Solvers.

Need help? Contact the CBS 6 Problem Solvers.